Health Is Living Beyond Fear

Health is Living Beyond Fear

© GLOW IMAGES Models used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

Everyone seems to be affected by fear in some way or another, but looking at fear and its causes isn’t intended to create more fear, but to show that it need not be harmful. Fear is self imposed but so intimately entwined in the individual that it seems as if it were as much a part of the individual as a body part. But let me assure you that you do have a choice with respect to fear.Continue Reading

Seeing Health Through a New Lens

Seeing Health Through a New Lens

© GLOW IMAGES Model used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

While serving as a public school administrator, I dealt directly with district leadership who would often direct teachers to take care of all educational instruction. Homework was generally discouraged because it was thought that parents might confuse students, since new methods were unfamiliar to parents. Remember modern math versus traditional math, look-and-say reading programs, whole language instruction, and modern physics? But many experienced teachers knew that these programs weren’t going to survive. And they didn’t.

Why? For many reasons, but mainly because these curriculums only addressed program content and not the wide range of needs of the students. This left the teacher without resources to teach and explain the programs. To add to the problem, tests still measured content from the former programs and sent mixed messages, leading to confusion.

In many ways we have the same condition existing in health care today. Medical professionals and the drug industry are advocating a regular regimen of screening, prevention, and diagnosis – to address healthcare needs. It resembles the one-size-fits-all thinking and disregards patient choice, which may involve treatment by alternative therapies (including prayer) as well as traditional western medicine.

However, the public is taking a closer look at health care practices. What are they discovering? Here are three things:

Over diagnosis:

In a New York Times article, H. Gilbert Welch described recent rumblings by the medical community of waning enthusiasm for early diagnosis. His article “If You Feel O.K, Maybe You Are O.K.” aptly states his findings. He continues with the message that the basic strategy behind early diagnosis is to encourage people who are well to get examined to determine if they are not, in fact, sick. But is looking hard for things to be wrong a good way to promote health?

Mind-body-spiritual connections:

The large number of studies dealing with how important these connections are is fascinating. Deepak Chopra in, “Medicine’s Great Divide – The View from the Alternative Side” is a watershed article on this subject. He unrelentingly presents his view that traditional western medicine (drugs and surgery) must blend with alternative medicines – sometimes called complementary alternative medicines. (The most used alternative therapy by the way is prayer, according to an NIH study.) At the end of his article, Chopra states what needs to happen: “The mystery of healing remains unsolved. If we combine wisdom and science, tradition and research, mind and body, there is every hope that the mystery will reveal its secrets more and more fully”

The placebo effect:

CBS’s 60 Minutes covered a story on placebos as they relate to antidepressant drugs. Irving Kirsch, associate director of the Placebo Studies Program at Harvard Medical School was interviewed on the program. Kirsch makes the statement that the difference in the effect of the placebo and the effect of an antidepressant is minimal for most people. The patient’s thought about the drug appears to be the determining factor.

The Wall Street Journal also described a study in which thought affected the outcome. This study described how hotel room attendants were told that their jobs provided good physical exercise, which caused them to show significant weight loss. Other employees did the same work but were not told about the potential benefits. These people showed no significant change in their weight because they did not expect this effect.

Over diagnoses, mind-body-spiritual connections, and the placebo effect are all important findings; especially considering that the mandated Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reaches into every community and home. It’s important that each individual has the freedom to choose what type of health practices work for him and that the insurance industry is able to provide insurance coverage for those choices, whether they are traditional western medicine and/or alternative therapies.

Article previously published March 26, 2012.

Health Through Helping Others

Health Through Helping Others

© GLOW IMAGES

by Don Ingwerson

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to my son as he was recapping the latest on his house-remodeling project. I’d been hearing about the ups and downs of remodeling the kitchen and bathroom – important high-traffic areas – and after months of disruption a date had finally been set for the cabinet installation. As you can imagine, after months of having kitchen materials stacked and piled on the dining room table and floor, the thought of finally having order restored brought relief.

Then one contractor flaked at the last minute and another contractor was brought in. When this new contractor called at the last minute to say he was going to be late, my son decided to ask why there was going to be a delay. It turned out that this contractor had been hired to install a closet for a client whose son had been killed in the Boston bombing and whose daughter had lost a leg. She was returning home soon and the family wanted to surprise her with a new closet. With that explanation, my son immediately assured the contractor that he could take all the time he needed, and it snapped my son out of worrying about his own schedule and into what was going to work for everybody.

What struck me about this conversation was that my son did not make this offer out of personal gain, but instead to fulfill another’s need. It’s the type of action that reduces stress, does away with a “me first” attitude, and leads to a giving, helpful, and positive environment. It’s also a personal example of what studies have found – that altruism leads to better health.

Of course this isn’t so surprising, as ancient wisdom has indicated it for millennia. One Biblical text, for instance, says, “I [God, or Spirit] will restore health unto you and I will heal you of your wounds.” Many are starting to see a connection between harmony in consciousness and in health.

Deepak Chopra, in his article “The Great Divide,” insists that the time is long past for ignoring the mind-body connection. Instead he shows how everyday decisions and modes of thought can and do affect health.

Herbert Bensen and Gregory Fricchione also support the conclusion that thought and health are linked. In Stress and Health: The New ‘Apple a Day’ Prescription, Bensen describes how individuals who practiced regular meditation had better health. “The ideal is to develop a routine, a time to bring forth the relaxation response that becomes as much a part of the day as brushing your teeth.”

I particularly appreciated the simplicity of Bensen’s suggestion as to what practicing the relaxation response does for health. He suggests that people should practice the relaxation response once a day for 10 or 20 minutes. I’ve found that a similar practice, one of early morning meditation, has helped me be mindful of those around me, which I feel has helped with my own health.

Without realizing it, my son did a lot for his health when he exhibited helpful characteristics, instead of a “me-first” attitude, which helped meet another person’s need. These small efforts to support a sense of harmony and peace when another individual is experiencing stress may seem like a trifle, but knowing that they can help maintain your health is a good clue that it’s wise to incorporate such efforts into your day.

Article first published in Blogcritics.

The Brain: Is it the Source of Health?

The Brain: Is it the Source of Health?

© GLOW IMAGES
model used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

President Obama has pledged $100,000,000 in his 2014 budget for new brain research according to the New York Times Editorial Board.  The ultimate aim is to learn how the brain generates thoughts, dreams, memories, perceptions, and other mental images.  Is it possible to measure something that may not reside in the brain but in a form of consciousness outside the material substance called the brain? To look at that question, I am reposting an article originally posted 12/10/12:

As a life-long educator, I get excited when new discoveries are made that show how to maintain health and be freer from physical and mental limitations. My most recent encouragement came from the new book Super Brain, which supports the idea that the brain is important to our health in a number of newly discovered ways.

These new research findings, about how the brain functions under stressful situations that affect health, are almost surreal. They show that the mind has great power to maximize health, happiness, and spiritual wellbeing. The use of these findings could go a long way towards preventing illnesses that have plagued humans for centuries – such as aging, Alzheimer’s, and memory loss – and they point to something many researchers have been saying for some time: that the mind-body connection is more than theory.

What authors Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi do in Super Brain is take the data of mind-body connections to another level. Through scientific evidence they show how the brain functions and how this functioning affects health. In contrast to the “baseline brain” that fulfills the tasks of everyday life, they suggest that through increased self–awareness the brain can be taught to reach far beyond its present limitations. Beliefs about the brain that tend to be limiting can be overcome by combining cutting-edge research with spiritual insights.

One reason scientists continue to search for the source of consciousness, or this higher brain function, is that qualities of thought like forgiveness, humor, and love have a positive impact on the body. Yet to date the search to find the material source for these healing qualities has been unsuccessful. Limiting consciousness research to laboratory analysis of brain tissue (where measurements are more quantifiable) could be inhibiting a full exploration and understanding of consciousness.

But many top scientists continue to search for answers about consciousness. Australian researcher David J. Chalmers, in a video called The Conscious Mind, asks, “How does the water of the brain turn into the wine of consciousness? How is it that all of this matter adds up to something as complex, as interesting, and as unique as consciousness?” And evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins was asked, “What is the one question you most want to see answered?” He replied, “How does subjective consciousness work? How does it evolve?”

Is it possible there’s value in looking in a different direction than biomedical and body-based research to areas that are more subjective and metaphysical?

“In the areas of health and wellbeing, research shows that how we express ourselves spiritually definitely matters. Whom we affiliate with…whether we make time for regular devotion, what we believe, the strength of our faith…these things contribute to whether we become ill or stay well,” claims Jeff Levin in God, Faith and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection.

This idea that spiritual thought affects health was shown recently when a friend of mine, who was suffering from terror dreams, decided to use prayer as his alternative medicine. The biblical statement, “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” (Psalms 16:1) was very meaningful and helpful. This spiritual thought, along with, “The divine Mind that made man maintains His own image and likeness,” expressed in the book, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, gave him the prayerful strength to overcome this mental suffering. He was healed from the condition overnight and hasn’t had a relapse. Of course, there are many who would say that the correlation between his healing and prayer is too subjective. How can we be sure how he got better? But many, including Chopra, Tanzi, and my friend, are convinced that there is a link to a source – my friend would call it God, others might call it consciousness – that produces positive healing results.

Many individuals are turning to alternative and complementary medicines in their own search for healing. They, like researchers and others, may not be able to identify the source of their healings, but they tend to know when they are physically and mentally well. Maybe researchers will find proof that consciousness is more than matter, evolved from a higher source, and Dawkins’ question will be answered.

Step by step, physicians and material scientists such as Chopra and Tanzi, as shown in Super Brain, have been prodding us to ask what constitutes the qualities we deem healthy by demonstrating that qualities of thought have a positive impact on bodily wellbeing. But if faith in matter is a barrier to the kind of thinking that heals, could that suggest why solely a search of matter for consciousness keeps coming up short?

Article first published in Blogcritics

All Hands on Deck

All Hands on Deck

© GLOW IMAGES

by Don Ingwerson

One night many years ago while I was serving in the military, the chaplain calmly and quietly told me over the phone that a soldier’s wife had been asphyxiated because of a gas leak in the family housing barracks. He asked me to go immediately to the base hospital and prayerfully support her. You might say that it was a call for “all hands on deck.” In this case it meant that there was only one purpose for us, which was to protect the life of this young woman. And protect her we did.

Recently I was reminded of this incident while reading “Here’s how we build a better health-care system.” The article described our present cutting-edge medical care system, one rooted in technology and supposedly unmatched in the world.

While major technological advances have certainly been made in medical science, I wonder if there aren’t other components that are needed for improving health.

It’s no secret that despite all the advancements in health care, most feel that it’s too expensive, over-treatment is rampant, and prevention is often not the primary goal. According to a recent study covered by The Atlantic, Americans’ health ranks below that of 16 other developed nations, despite the fact that the U.S. spends about $8,000 per person, per year on health care – more than any other nation.

What could be done to change this? Some would argue that a more holistic approach would win the day, focusing more on prevention and less on technology and the volume of treatment.

Dr. Deepak Chopra states in “The Great Divide: The View from the Alternative Side” that “no one could really object to the aims of alternative medicine, which are to bring relief to the whole patient. Sick people come to us in hopes that their suffering will end. If millions of them have been seeking holistic treatments instead of the two-pronged approach of conventional medicine—drugs and surgery—their motivation isn’t irrational.” While many Americans seek various approaches that will work for them, they are paying for non-conventional forms of treatment in addition to allopathic medicine. For example, according to one study, Americans spend $34 billion out-of-pocket on complementary and alternative medicine each year.

These Americans are seeking other options that will work for them, beyond the conventional medical model.

Right now there is a great need to support individuals as they try various health care options to meet their needs. While individuals will look at their options in various ways, typical offerings under health insurance plans need not “straitjacket” our concept of health. In thinking about a deeper sense of health and wellness, some may draw strength from a spiritual source, such as through prayer and meditation, while others will lean on the support of drugs and surgery. And some will do all of the above. Back to the phrase “all hands on deck,” we all must work together to provide and support all patients. Currently, there’s a growing openness toward a scientific study of spirituality and its effects on health.

After analyzing integrative medicine trends, Dr. Patricia Herman published a systematic review of cost studies on complementary and alternative medicine. She said, “I’m tired of this talk that there is no evidence for cost-effectiveness of complementary and integrative medicine. There is evidence. We need to move onto phase two and look at how transferable these findings are. We can take this evidence and run.”

That night when I was asked to be part of the “all hands on deck” crew while treating the soldier’s wife as she fought for her life, I was a member of a team looking for the best treatments available. The doctors were working with their best knowledge on overcoming her physical conditions and the dire predictions, and I was deep in prayer affirming that her divine Creator was good and had created her similarly good, in the Creator’s image, and would never leave her or create something that could harm her. For me, this idea comes from the Bible, where it says, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” This woman was able to joyfully walk out of the hospital refuting the predictions that she would lose all her senses and her ability to walk.

Considering the whole person and his or her spirituality in treatment becomes that “all hands on deck” type of care. So why don’t we follow Dr. Herman’s advice, take the evidence in support of holistic care, and run with it?

Article first published in Blogcritics.

Health Is Living Beyond Fear

Health is Living Beyond Fear

© GLOW IMAGES
Models used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

Everyone seems to be affected by fear in some way or another, but looking at fear and its causes isn’t intended to create more fear, but to show that it need not be harmful. Fear is self imposed but so intimately entwined in the individual that it seems as if it were as much a part of the individual as a body part. But let me assure you that you do have a choice with respect to fear.

Lissa Rankin states, “that even more than smoking and alcohol or eating fried food or being a couch potato, fear is bad for your health. But we experience fear for a reason. It’s meant to protect us, so that when we’re in a dangerous situation, our fear response triggers the body’s fight or flight mode and we’re better able to overcome what is challenging us.”

I experienced first hand how fear creates a fight or flight response when I was at a conference. The conference leader gave each of us a thermometer to hold between thumb and forefinger and asked each of us to take an initial body temperature reading. He then asked us to think of the most horrible and fearful thing that had ever happened to each of us. After a few moments he asked us to look at the thermometer again to see how our thoughts had affected the thermometer reading. When I looked at the thermometer, the temperature reading had lowered by 5 degrees, indicating that circulation in my hands had lessened and that most of the blood was surrounding my heart. My body was ready to respond to the thing I was afraid of.

But fear is important to the health of the body only in that by being aware that fear affects the body both mentally and physically, a person is able to work beyond fear, which brings inspiration on how to solve the fearful situation. When fear is allowed free rein, the body is under stress (fear is definitely stressful), and the body cannot repair itself. Maintaining a state of calm through thoughts of love, faith, and pleasure allows the body to repair itself.

The concept of being in control of and caring for your health through mind/body practices of prayer and meditation is not a new idea. During the last century, noted writer on health and spirituality, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote in her seminal work, Science and Health, “As human thought changes from one stage to another –from fear to hope and from faith to understanding, the visible manifestation will at last be man governed by [spirituality], not by material sense.” According to Deepak Chopra, MD, one of the main themes of alternative medicines is to return the power of healing to the patient. Self-treatment is providing healing, which releases the patient from stress, tension, and the unknown – all which are intimately tied to fear.

Fear governs the health of the body when spirituality isn’t present. Taking control of my own health needs by going beyond fearful thoughts through prayer and meditation, I have prevented and corrected health problems. I’ve found thoughts of goodness and harmony begin to dissipate fearful emotions. Continuing to perform this exercise helps to create a healthy experience that changes attitude as well as improves health.

Health Goals: Developing an Awareness of Alternatives

Health Goals: Developing an Awareness of Alternatives

© GLOW IMAGES

by Don Ingwerson

While establishing goals for the 2013 year, an article by Deepak Chopra titled, “The big idea(s) for 2013: A Critical Mass of Consciousness” caught my attention. As I read further, I realized that a goal has a better chance of being successful if it is in concert with the efforts of others. Chopra successfully makes this point when he states, “Our world right now is in a state of worrisome turbulence and chaos. If we are to achieve any measure of success in creating a more peaceful, just, sustainable, and healthy planet, it will require more than the participation of governments and businesses. We’ll need a critical mass of consciousness on the part of the people.”

Let’s look at one aspect of this larger goal: a healthy planet.

The goal of helping create a critical mass of consciousness (awareness) about health and the importance of this goal to each individual is very timely when considering how health care options are determined. Timely, because by January 2014 almost every individual in the United States will be mandated to buy health insurance or pay a fine.

This collective health awareness will need a critical mass of people who have found alternative and traditional therapies that work for them, and regulators who make them accessible under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the new health care law is confined to traditional western medical practices, and modeled after existing delivery systems, Dr. Andrew Weil’s comment in the documentary Escape Fire, “We don’t have a health care system, we have a disease care system,” may describe our future.

Another issue is how patients will be treated, both mentally and physically. Do they need to take more responsibility for their health instead of routinely turning to the medical community to manage their lives through drugs? How do we achieve a critical mass of consciousness in this area?

Dr. Lissa Rankin urges, “The solution is not more tests, more drugs, or more procedures. The solution requires physicians to spend more time with patients engaging in the art of healing and educating patients not just about diet, exercise, getting enough sleep, and taking vitamins, but also the other factors. To be wholly healthy, you need to do more than care for your physical body. It’s also essential to be healthy in your relationships, your work life, your creative life, your spiritual life, your financial life, your environment, and your mental health.”

As regulators tackle the task of identifying therapies that should be available to the public under the ACA, there needs to be the recognition that the whole person – physical and spiritual aspects – must be addressed. Many studies show that health care must address the spiritual needs of the individual as well as the physical.

So my goal this year is to start with big intentions and resolutions. I know from past experiences that it may be easy to become discouraged and shift to smaller and personal goals, but I’m going to work to stick to the big issue, because an awareness (consciousness) on the part of the public is developing about the importance of a different type of health care – one that includes the use of alternative medicines (especially prayer and meditation) and for the accountability of the individual.

My health care goal is not separate from the critical mass of awareness on the part of all, and yet I must stand alone in my belief as to what manifests healthy situations for me. I recall a time that I engaged in setting a big goal by relying on prayer to meet my spiritual and physical needs. I was in the military service at the time and I was assigned full time to prayerfully help army recruits with their physical and spiritual needs. I saw how important bible-based study and prayer were for a healthy and stable emotional lifestyle on the part of inductees. It continues to be my goal for 2013 to promote an awareness (consciousness) that encourages the effective use of prayer and meditation as alternative medicines in resolving health issues. As the concept of health care broadens to address the needs of a population, a critical mass of awareness will result.

Article first published in Blogcritics.

The Fix for Health Care – Holistic Medicine and Patient Choice?

The Fix for Health Care - Holistic Medicine and Patient Choice?

© GLOW IMAGES

by Don Ingwerson

Article first published in the U-T San Diego.

Amid the nation-wide debate about health care and each person’s search for a safe, effective, and affordable approach is the realization that being healthy is an individual responsibility and personal endeavor.

A synopsis of an article in The Atlantic by Dr. David H. Freedman says, “the medical profession kept a cool distance from alternative medicine, which most doctors dismissed as the province of hippies and snake oil salesman.” But with health care a topic of debate at the moment, Congress, medical professionals, and the public are all weighing in on what should be included in health care. With the mandate for most everyone to have health insurance coverage in 2014 – or pay a penalty – health care options are being reanalyzed with reference to breadth of coverage and cost.

Deepak Chopra, author and founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California, speaks bluntly about the medicine he was taught and the kind he now practices. His experiences highlight the sometimes-strained relationship between conventional and alternative medical practitioners. When the New England Journal of Medicine reported that Americans pay more annually for visits to alternative practitioners than to MDs, physicians expressed great concern. But there has been increased interest among a number of conventional medical professionals since National Institutes of Health studies reported that approximately 38 percent of the public is spending $34 billion dollars a year on alternative medicine out of their own pocket. Chopra makes the following very succinct statement about this issue: “No one could really object to the aims of alternative medicine, which are to bring relief to the whole patient. Sick people come to us in hopes that their suffering will end. If millions of them have been seeking holistic treatments instead of the two-pronged approach of conventional medicine – drugs and surgery – their motivation isn’t irrational.”

And yet, retired British professor Edzard Ernst, a strong supporter and practitioner of complementary medicine, is not so sure. “The real reason, I have come to conclude, is that people are being lied to. Practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) often fail to explain what the evidence shows and does not show. It is a triumph of advertising over rationality:”

As physicians and hospital personnel who are receptive to this approach work to include alternative medicines in their treatments, they will also need to address ways for patients to be informed and be active decision makers. Hopefully, as the political leaders of our country experience grass roots support for a more holistic health care system, financial and regulatory support will be integrated into the health care insurance policies available to the public.

So just what is alternative medicine? The term is not well defined, but NIH studies name 10 alternatives: prayer, prayer for self, prayer for others, natural products, deep breathing, prayer groups, mediation, chiropractic care, yoga, massage, and diet therapies.

I consider my own system, whose roots can be traced to healings found in the New Testament, to be one of those alternatives because spiritual resources have been my main source of health care. One of the benefits of this form of health care is that I take more direct responsibility for my health, and have found that my progress is directly related to my own spiritual practice. It has provided prevention and cure that consistently reinforces the quality of my health.

If the current trend of patients asking for a variety of therapies continues, and this seems likely, it will be important for health care providers to look for ways to meet this demand, and for all options to be on the table when devising plans. Patients shouldn’t have to go outside the system to receive the care that works best for them.

The Brain: Is it the Source of Health?

The Brain: Is it the Source of Health?

© GLOW IMAGES
model used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

As a life-long educator, I get excited when new discoveries are made that show how to maintain health and be freer from physical and mental limitations. My most recent encouragement came from the new book Super Brain, which supports the idea that the brain is important to our health in a number of newly discovered ways.

These new research findings, about how the brain functions under stressful situations that affect health, are almost surreal. They show that the mind has great power to maximize health, happiness, and spiritual wellbeing. The use of these findings could go a long way towards preventing illnesses that have plagued humans for centuries – such as aging, Alzheimer’s, and memory loss – and they point to something many researchers have been saying for some time: that the mind-body connection is more than theory.

What authors Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi do in Super Brain is take the data of mind-body connections to another level. Through scientific evidence they show how the brain functions and how this functioning affects health. In contrast to the “baseline brain” that fulfills the tasks of everyday life, they suggest that through increased self–awareness the brain can be taught to reach far beyond its present limitations. Beliefs about the brain that tend to be limiting can be overcome by combining cutting-edge research with spiritual insights.

One reason scientists continue to search for the source of consciousness, or this higher brain function, is that qualities of thought like forgiveness, humor, and love have a positive impact on the body. Yet to date the search to find the material source for these healing qualities has been unsuccessful. Limiting consciousness research to laboratory analysis of brain tissue (where measurements are more quantifiable) could be inhibiting a full exploration and understanding of consciousness.

But many top scientists continue to search for answers about consciousness. Australian researcher David J. Chalmers, in a video called The Conscious Mind, asks, “How does the water of the brain turn into the wine of consciousness? How is it that all of this matter adds up to something as complex, as interesting, and as unique as consciousness?” And evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins was asked, “What is the one question you most want to see answered?” He replied, “How does subjective consciousness work? How does it evolve?”

Is it possible there’s value in looking in a different direction than biomedical and body-based research to areas that are more subjective and metaphysical?

“In the areas of health and wellbeing, research shows that how we express ourselves spiritually definitely matters. Whom we affiliate with…whether we make time for regular devotion, what we believe, the strength of our faith…these things contribute to whether we become ill or stay well,” claims Jeff Levin in God, Faith and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Healing Connection.

This idea that spiritual thought affects health was shown recently when a friend of mine, who was suffering from terror dreams, decided to use prayer as his alternative medicine. The biblical statement, “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” (Psalms 16:1) was very meaningful and helpful. This spiritual thought, along with, “The divine Mind that made man maintains His own image and likeness,” expressed in the book, Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures, gave him the prayerful strength to overcome this mental suffering. He was healed from the condition overnight and hasn’t had a relapse. Of course, there are many who would say that the correlation between his healing and prayer is too subjective. How can we be sure how he got better? But many, including Chopra, Tanzi, and my friend, are convinced that there is a link to a source – my friend would call it God, others might call it consciousness – that produces positive healing results.

Many individuals are turning to alternative and complementary medicines in their own search for healing. They, like researchers and others, may not be able to identify the source of their healings, but they tend to know when they are physically and mentally well. Maybe researchers will find proof that consciousness is more than matter, evolved from a higher source, and Dawkins’ question will be answered.

Step by step, physicians and material scientists such as Chopra and Tanzi, as shown in Super Brain, have been prodding us to ask what constitutes the qualities we deem healthy by demonstrating that qualities of thought have a positive impact on bodily wellbeing. But if faith in matter is a barrier to the kind of thinking that heals, could that suggest why solely a search of matter for consciousness keeps coming up short?

Article first published in Blogcritics